The benefits of probiotics
If you are asked “Are probiotics good for you?”, you could definitely answer “yes” just in an eye blinking even you are not a doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare expert. Why? Every people living in the today’s modern society has heard about its power to the digestive system.
But the point is the “beneficial” or “friendly” bacteria can do much more to our body when being consumed in the right way and at the right time.
Can’t wait knowing more?
With this mind, we’re writing about how probiotics are good for our body. It promises to work to those who have been engaged in this issue and even those who just get interested in getting here. Keep reading!
What are probiotics?
“Probiotics are living microorganisms, the majority of which are bacteria followed by yeast”, according to the American Pregnancy Association. They are similar to the naturally beneficial microorganisms found in your gut (intestines).
Probiotics are sometimes called friendly bacteria for the reason that they can balance the good and bad bacteria in the gut, and help to keep your digestive system healthy. Some widely used probiotics are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces.
How they work?
As we all know, our body is full of good and bad bacteria. Too much of any bacteria, even the good kind, can be harmful to our digestive system. Probitics can help balance bacteria population to keep our system staying healthy, then, enable our body to work in the way it should.
The benefits of probiotics
Probiotics have great impacts on our body due to its ability to balance the good and bad bacteria in our body. Below are 7 health benefits that you need to know:
1. Improve immune system
Probiotics is good for your immune system. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals that certain probiotic strains boost measures of immune response to frequent symptoms like common cold, flu, fever, etc.
For moms who are breastfeeding their baby, adding a probiotic to their diet does not only replenish good bacteria that have lost but also helps the baby’s immune system mature faster (mom’s good bacteria is passed on the baby through breast milk).
2. Reduce diarrhea
Probiotic supplements is considered a useful remedy to reduce, prevent and treat different types of diarrhea, especially the antibiotic- associated one. A 2012 monograph of Health Canada stated that products containing certain probiotics (such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) help manage acute infectious diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea by replenishing both beneficial and unwanted bacteria that antibiotics killed.
To meet your purpose, you should take probiotics alongside the meal, the best time to take a probiotic. Not just that, your dosage must be used under a doctor’ supervision to avoid possible risks it may cause.
3. Treat constipation
Along with diarrhea, taking a probiotic is also a good way to treat its opposite problem — constipation. A study indicates that probiotics slow “gut transit time” by 12.4 hours, increase the number of weekly bowel movements by 1.3, and help to soften stools, making them easier to pass.
4. Probiotics prevent bacterial infections
Probiotics have pretty impact on the treatment and prevention of vaginal infections in women. Like the gut, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem in which Lactobacilli strains make it too acidic for harmful bacteria to survive. However, if they take antibiotics, spermicides, or birth control pills, the system might not maintain its balance. Thus, taking a probiotic may help treat and prevent common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.
5. Make skin better
By influencing types of bacteria that live on your skin, some probiotic skin care products can improve inflammatory skin conditions caused by acne and rosacea. It also helps reinforce the skin’s natural defenses against bad bacteria, pollution and free radical damage, then making your skin strong and healthy.
Moreover, there are products containing ingredients that replenish the moisture for the skin, making it stronger and fresher. It eventually helps delay the signs of aging like wrinkles, tightens pores, etc.
6. Probiotics maintain your mood
Perhaps, you might not know that probiotics are also good for your mood. They support the process of producing your body’s serotonin – the happiness chemicals. The facts show that almost 95% of these chemicals is produced in your gut, so replenishing them often is without dispute one of the best things you can do/ to keep your mood high.
Good for kids?
Probiotics are one of the most popular natural remedy for kids that keep their microbiome – that is supposed to be responsible for many disease – healthy. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that giving infants probiotics in the first three months of life may help prevent colic, constipation, and acid reflux
Probiotics may also reduce the duration of diarrhea caused by gastroenteritis and support the child’s microflora throughout the course of antibiotics.
Although probiotic supplements have benefits to your kids, don’t use them as a habit and always make sure that you ask for the advice of the doctor and pharmacist before letting your kids consume them. And, instead, you might add yogurt and fermented foods that contain good bacteria to your kid’s meals.
Bad for you?
The answer is yes. If you take probiotics in the wrong way, it may cause more harm than good.
The first thing to mention is taking a probiotic while having an empty stomach. As you might know, probiotics are living organisms that need food, water, and warmth to survive and multiply, so if you take it with an empty stomach, it can be killed. The reason is simple: When your stomach is empty, it’s more acidic and has a pH around two, the harsh environment in which probiotics find it hard to survive.
The other mistake is to take probiotic every day. If you consume this supplement on a daily routine, they may destroy the balance of the complex integrated ecosystem of 1,000 species to create a new one of just a few strains of bacteria.
The last side effect comes from outside, the origin and quality of the product. Even when you buy probiotic supplements at pharmacies and health food stores, you are still not sure about whether or not they are high-quality products. Even some products of lower-quality may not contain the probiotic bacteria that are listed on the label.
Foods that contain probiotics
Aside from supplements, you could definitely take probiotics from yogurt, especially plain Greek yogurt, and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha, etc. They all contain natural beneficial bacteria that, so why don’t you add them to your meal?
Since probiotics are good for you, you need to do something more to boost these good bacteria in your body, aside from foods and supplements. Your work is super simple: get outside as much as you can. We all know that the best bacteria for our immune system comes directly from the environment. We breathe it in, we absorb it through our skin, so the best ‘probiotic’ we can get is outdoors and you can only get it in nature.
Good for dogs?
Some people might wonder “Can I give my dog probiotics?”, “Can dogs take human probiotics?” and “Are probiotics good for dogs”. The answer will make them happy. Dogs can definitely earn benefits from probiotic supplements.
Like in human’s gut, probiotics help balance the good and bad bacteria in your dog’s gut, keeping it stay healthy. Not just that, it also supports the brain, digestion, assimilation of nutrients and even immune system of your dog.
If you keep reading to the very last line in our article, you definitely pick up its main ideas, then, satisfy your need of getting information. Because probiotics have pretty impacts on our body, try to consume them wise and timely. Read more about the best time to take a probiotic at.